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BizReport : Internet : February 12, 2016

No age limit to looking for love online

With Valentine's Day on the horizon, the Pew Research Center has released findings of a survey into just how many people now look to online dating or mobile apps to find the perfect partner.

by Helen Leggatt

A survey by Pew of more than 2,000 adults in the U.S. reveals that 15% have used an online dating site and/or mobile app to find that special someone - up from 11% in 2013. That figure rises to 27% among younger adults age between 18 and 24, triple the number in 2013.

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According to 80% of Americans, online dating is a great way to meet people and 62% believe it helps them find a much more suitable match. Twenty-nine percent know someone who has met a spouse or long-term partner via online dating.

However, despite the efficiency of finding a partner online, nearly half (45%) agree that online dating is a more dangerous route to love than other ways of meeting people and 31% believe online dating offers so much choice that it prevents people from settling down. According to 16% "people who use online dating sites are desperate".

And, online dating is not just for the young who are looking for love - 12% of Americans age 55 to 64 used online dating in 2015, double the number who did so two years ago.

"There's been a real reduction in the stigma attached to online dating over the last decade or so, and that's particularly true of older users," said Aaron Smith, associate director for Internet research at Pew. "They're much more likely to respond positively in general to online dating and the people who use it."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: mobile apps, online dating, Pew Research Center, research, Valentine's Day

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